|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley:
at last Tom burst out crying; but he would not tell her what was
really in his mind.
And all the while he was eaten up with curiosity to know where
Ellie went to; so that he began not to care for his playmates, or
for the sea-palace or anything else. But perhaps that made matters
all the easier for him; for he grew so discontented with everything
round him that he did not care to stay, and did not care where he
"Well," he said, at last, "I am so miserable here, I'll go; if only
you will go with me?"
"Ah!" said Ellie, "I wish I might; but the worst of it is, that the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Schoolmistress and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov:
the cocks crow, go and sign on this paper here that you give me
up your soul."
"Your honor," said Fyodor politely, "when you ordered a pair of
boots from me I did not ask for the money in advance. One has
first to carry out the order and then ask for payment."
"Oh, very well!" the customer assented.
A bright flame suddenly flared up in the mortar, a pink thick
smoke came puffing out, and there was a smell of burnt feathers
and sulphur. When the smoke had subsided, Fyodor rubbed his eyes
and saw that he was no longer Fyodor, no longer a shoemaker, but
quite a different man, wearing a waistcoat and a watch-chain, in
The Schoolmistress and Other Stories
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:
many of whom, I am sure, have their own opinions on the whole
subject; though of course they have nothing but praise for a
system which provides them with so many of the good things of
There are now only two more matters to which I need allude --
namely, the language and the system of calligraphy. As for
the former, it is soft-sounding, and very rich and flexible.
Sir Henry says that it sounds something like modern Greek,
but of course it has no connection with it. It is easy to acquire,
being simple in its construction, and a peculiar quality about it
is its euphony, and the way in which the sound of the words
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Oscar Wilde Miscellaneous by Oscar Wilde:
in the career of Salome on the European stage, apart from the opera.
In an introduction to the English translation published by Mr. John
Lane it is pointed out that Wilde's confusion of Herod Antipas
(Matt. xiv. 1) with Herod the Great (Matt. ii. 1) and Herod Agrippa
I. (Acts xii. 23) is intentional, and follows a mediaeval
convention. There is no attempt at historical accuracy or
archaeological exactness. Those who saw the marvellous decor of Mr.
Charles Ricketts at the second English production can form a
complete idea of what Wilde intended in that respect; although the
stage management was clumsy and amateurish. The great opera of
Richard Strauss does not fall within my province; but the fag ends